SANTA CLARA (CBS SF) – The business of video games is so lucrative and in need of creative minds that the University of California at Santa Cruz is now offering a master’s degree in video gaming at its Silicon Valley extension in Santa Clara.
UC Santa Cruz student Mark Gerow is set to begin the brand-new program this fall at the Santa Clara campus – to earn a master’s in Games and Playable Media. Gerow and a team of student programmers, engineers and designers have come with their own video game known as “Siege Breakers.”
“It’s a very technically oriented program that requires a lot of hard work … it’s not quite underwater basket weaving,” said Gerow. “It requires a little bit of blood, sweat and tears.”
“It’s a really cool art form itself,” said UC Santa Cruz senior Nicole Rusk. “It’s technology and art put together. So it’s this really great combination.”
Students say succeeding in the program requires a mastery of a variety of diverse subjects, from state-of-the art touch screen software to art design to video and sound.
The new masters program is a chance for students to take their computer science experience and invent their own games from scratch.
It’s also a leg up if they eventually decide to go to work in the multibillion-dollar video game industry.
“And that’s an experience that’s really hard to go through in your garage or a traditional undergraduate program,” said UC Santa Cruz Professor Noah Wardrip-Fruin. “But by doing it in this masters program, you can really take your skills to the next level.”
A degree in video gaming at UC Santa Cruz would cost about $16,000 for in-state grad students, and about $32,000 for out-of-state students.
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